Now before anybody blows a gasket, I don’t say this because I believe he has not served well. I say it because he has served well long enough.
We have actively been at war for over 5 years now, and Donald Rumsfeld has been Secretary of Defense for that entire time. That’s longer than WWII in one of the most difficult jobs imaginable. Sec. Rumsfeld doesn’t even have a desk; he stands all day while working. Mr. Rumsfeld thank you for the Herculean efforts you and your staff and all the folks at the Pentagon, civilian and military, have made, but sir it’s time to take a seat.
There is much to be said for continuity in offices of high import, but also for a change that can reinvigorate. When faced with a monumental challenge it is easy to focus like a laser on it, and that can lead to failure to see alternatives to your way. I think Sec. Rumsfeld has been unfairly painted as too set in his ways or convinced he is correct. In a military unit it is vital that a consistent and coherent set of guidance comes down the chain of command. There should be no doubt at any level what the commander’s intent is, this is one of Sec. Rumsfeld’s strengths. There also needs to be a feeling that before a final decision is made the input of the many talented professionals involved get to air their opinions and lay out all the options detailing strengths and weaknesses of each, this is one of Sec. Rumsfeld’s weaknesses. Fair or not, he is perceived as as not taking the advice of all of those in the Pentagon and also of dominating inter-agency battles over policy.
No one person is indispensable, and Donald Rumsfeld has certainly earned some R&R. I believe he should announce that he will retire after the elections, not resign, retire. He should go out with a parade and a big party on the National Mall. The left has been calling for his resignation and if they had their way, his running out of town on a rail. What a perfect way to short circuit that by celebrating his service and letting him enjoy that time-honored military tradition of a retirement party. It may seem tacky to do so in the midst of a war, but we military folks understand irony and the idea that we should “eat and drink for tomorrow we die”.
This would also offer the president an excellent opportunity to remind people that we are still at war and his choice of a replacement would be a chance to reconnect the country with this. I believe he should appoint a Democrat to serve as the next Sec. of Defense and for some reason the name Lieberman keeps coming to mind. If not him, it should be someone from well outside the president’s current circle of advisers. I don’t subscribe to the view that the administration has done an awful job of prosecuting the war on jihadism, but I can hardly give them a glowing review. A new voice, different ideas and a fresh start may be just what we all need.
Former Paratrooper and Army Officer, "Blackfive" started this blog upon learning of the valorous sacrifice of a friend that was not reported by the journalist whose life he saved. Email: blackfive AT gmail DOT com
Retired Special Operations Master Sergeant, Jim Hanson ("Uncle Jimbo") is now focused on writing about the military, politics, intelligence operations and foreign policy. Email: jimbo AT unclejimbo DOT com
Writer, photographer, and raconteur C. Blake Powers is the Laughing Wolf. He is independent in politics and covers topics including journalism, military, weapons, preparedness, space, science, cooking, food and wine, product and book reviews, and even spirituality. Email: wolf1 AT laughingwolf DOT net Laughing Wolf's Amazon Wish List
Bill Paisley, otherwise known as Pinch, is a 22 year (ongoing) active and
reserve naval aviator. He blogs over at www.instapinch.com on a veritable
cornucopia of various and sundry items and will bring a tactical naval
aviator's perspective to Blackfive. Readers be warned: any comments of or
about the F-14 Tomcat will be reverential and spoken in low, hushed tones.
Email: wpaisley AT comcast DOT net
Mr. Wolf has over 26 years in the Army, Army NG, and USAR. He’s Airborne with 5 years as an NCO, before becoming an officer. Mr. Wolf has had 4 company commands. Signal Corp is his basic branch, and Public Affairs is his functional area. He recently served 22 straight months in Kuwait and Iraq, in Intel, PA, and senior staff of MNF-I. Mr. Wolf is now an IT executive. He is currently working on a book on media and the Iraq war. Functional gearhead.
In Iraq, he received the moniker of Mr. Wolf after the Harvey Kietel character in Pulp Fiction, when "challenges" arose, they called on Mr. Wolf...
Email: TheDOTMrDOTWolfAT gmail DOT com
Deebow is a Staff Sergeant and a Military Police Squad Leader in the Army National Guard. In a previous life, he served in the US Navy. He has over 19 years of experience in both the Maritime and Land Warfare; including deployments to Southwest Asia, Thailand, the South Pacific, South America and Egypt. He has served as a Military Police Team Leader and Protective Services Team Leader and he has served on assignments with the US State Department, US Air Force Security Police, US Army Criminal Investigation Division, and the US Drug Enforcement Administration. He recently spent time in Afghanistan working with, training and fighting alongside Afghan Soldiers and is now focused on putting his 4 year Political Science degree to work by writing about foreign policy, military security policy and politics.
McQ has 28 years active and reserve service. Retired. Infantry officer. Airborne and Ranger. Consider my 3 years with the 82nd as the most fun I ever had with my clothes on. Interests include military issues and policy and veteran's affairs.
Email: mcq51 -at - bellsouth -dot- net
Tantor is a former USAF navigator/weapon system officer (WSO) in F-4E Phantoms who served in the US, Asia, and Europe. He is now a curmudgeonly computer geek in Washington, DC, picking the taxpayers pocket. His avocations are current events, aviation, history, and conservative politics.
Twenty-three years of Active and Reserve service in the US Army in SF (18B), Infantry and SOF Signal jobs with operational deployments to Bosnia and Africa. Since retiring he's worked as Senior Defense Analyst on SOF and Irregular Warfare projects and currently ensconced in the emerging world of Cyberspace.
Major Pain --
A Marine who began his blog in Iraq and reflects back on what he learned there and in Afghanistan. To the point opinions, ideas and thoughts on military, political and the media from One Marine’s View. Email: onemarinesview AT yahoo DOT com
Uber Pig was an Infantryman from late 1991 until early 1996, serving with Second Ranger Battalion, I Corps, and then 25th Infantry Division. At the time, the Army discriminated against enlisted soldiers who wanted use the "Green to Gold" program to become officers, so he left to attend Stanford University. There, he became expert in detecting, avoiding, and surviving L-shaped ambushes, before dropping out to be as entrepreneurial as he could be. He is now the founder of a software startup serving the insurance and construction industries, and splits time between Lake Tahoe, Boonville, and San Francisco, CA.
Uber Pig writes for Blackfive a) because he's the proud brother of an enlisted Civil Affairs Reservist who currently serves in Iraq, b) because he looks unkindly on people who make it harder for the military in general, and for his brother in particular, to succeed at their missions and come home in victory, and c) because the Blackfive readers and commenters help keep him sane.
COB6 spent 24 years in the active duty Army that included 5 combat tours with service in the 1st Ranger Battalion and 1st Special Forces Group . COB6 was enlisted (E-7) and took the OCS route to a commission. COB6 retired a few years back as a field grade Infantry officer.
Currently COB6 has a son in the 82nd Airborne that just returned from his third tour and has a newly commissioned daughter in the 4th Infantry Division.